Sunday, March 25, 2012

Two Trees

Two trees.
I have to admit, when I saw the title of this sermon, I thought... yeah... okay. I mean, exactly what can be preached about the trees in the Garden of Eden? We all know the story, right? God told Adam and Eve they could eat from any tree, except the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They ate, they died, they left.

However, something interesting was brought out in this particular teaching. Do you realize that God never told them they couldn't eat from the Tree of Life? There were two trees, indeed, as well as dozens of other trees and herb bearing plant. Vegetarian's delight, I'd imagine. The only tree they could not eat was the Knowledge of Good and Evil. So, can we safely presume that they ate of the Tree of Life? Might that explain why they lived to be 900+ years old? Each generation after them lived less and less, until by the time Samuel was conceived, his mom was just a regular aged lady.

I have to admit, with these studies underway, I find myself intrigued about the Creation story. Can you imagine a garden with all the wonderful fruit trees? Absolutely no sand spurs? Imagine the floral fragrance. Imagine the bees buzzing around. Heavenly! I wonder what the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil looked like? According to Eve, it was pretty to look at, the fruit looked delicious (how'd she know it was good for food? She'd not eaten of it at this point??) and a tree to be desired to make one wise. Ahhhh.... there's the downfall. The other trees in the garden were just beautiful and delicious. This particular one had the power to make one wise (not really--it was the tree of knowledge, not the tree of wisdom). Hence the temptation.

Once Adam and Eve took that fatal bite, there was no going back. Have you ever done something, that the moment you did or said it, you wished with all your heart you could undo the damage? I'm betting that's what Eve felt. However, nothing she could do could erase the fact that she'd just killed her husband and herself, and consequently, all her children after her. Even though God banned them from the garden, as well as the Tree of Life, He still had mercy on them. Even though they now knew they were naked, and it was their own fault, God didn't leave them there in that condition. No, He made some clothes for them from animal skins. He could have done like so many of us have done, "Well, serves you right! You made the choice, live with it!" But God isn't like us, thankfully. He sees right through our pretentious life and sees our nakedness, our wretchedness. The animal skins covered their shame, but on this side of the Cross, in the New Covenant, our shame has been not covered, but taken away.
Why was this done?
Simple. God loves you.